Fact Check

Does Video Show Proof That Ukraine Drowns Its Citizens on Purpose?

Social media users shared an old video to spread a false narrative about the Nova Kakhovka dam explosion in Russian-occupied Ukraine.

Published Jun 9, 2023

 (Twitter user @MikaelValterss1)
Image Via Twitter user @MikaelValterss1
Claim:
A video that went viral on June 7, 2023, showed proof that Ukraine was flooding the country on purpose after the Nova Kakhovka dam explosion.

On June 7, 2023, tweets were shared with a video that allegedly represented a situation in Dnieper Hydroelectric Station after the Nova Kakhovka explosion that took place on June 6.

Some users claimed that the Ukrainian government "decided to purposefully drown their own citizens", keeping the gates at the river open and that it was a "clear indication that Ukraine on purpose worsen the situation and are also a clear indication that Ukraine was the original culprit." The same information was also reposted on various websites and forums outside of Twitter. 

The video is authentic, but it was shared by a local media outlet back in April when massive floods occurred in Ukraine. Given the fact that the recording was published weeks before the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, we label this video as "Miscaptioned."

In April, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service reported on Telegram that several rivers had broken their banks, causing flooding in various regions of the country. Ukrhyfroenergo, the largest hydro power generating company in Ukraine, announced on April 18, exactly when the original video was posted on Instagram, that early snowmelt and rainfall were causing rising water levels. 

What's more, a very similar video to the one in question was shared on TikTok on April 18, 2023. 

The case was also investigated by Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist at BBC Verify, who underlined the fact that the post with a miscaptioned video was shared by many pro-Kremlin accounts.

Since the explosion of the Nova Kakhovka dam, we have fact-checked various rumors on the topic. On June 6, we reported on a video and pictures that authentically showed a flooded Nova Kakhovka Administrative District following the failure of the Novo Kakhovka Dam. We also debunked a miscaptioned video that allegedly showed an explosion of the dam but was actually taken in November 2022. Moreover, we reported on the fact that animals trapped at a zoo just downstream from the Nova Kakhovka incident drowned.

Sources

"BBC Launches 'Verify' Brand." NewscastStudio, 23 May 2023, https://www.newscaststudio.com/2023/05/23/bbc-verify-launch/?og=1.

Flooding in Ukraine – What Are the Consequences and the Situation Today? www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcsQViH0aKk. Accessed 9 June 2023.

"I Am a Victim of Gang Stalking (@sugisitasakyou_2) • Gab.Com." Gab Social, https://gab.com/sugisitasakyou_2. Accessed 9 June 2023.

Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/insiderkyiv/. Accessed 9 June 2023.

Kasprak, Alex. "Are These Images from Nova Kakhovka's Administrative Center After Dam Collapse?" Snopes, 6 June 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/novo-kakhovka-admin-center-dam-collapse/.

---. "Did Trapped Zoo Animals Drown After the Nova Kakhovka Dam Collapse?" Snopes, 8 June 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trapped-zoo-animals-nova-kakhovka/.

Russian-Ukrainian War: Combat Tactics & Strategy - Page 83 - Bharat Rakshak. https://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7888&start=3280. Accessed 9 June 2023.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine. https://mvs.gov.ua/en/struktura/organs-system-mia/state-emergency-service-1. Accessed 9 June 2023.

Ukraine – Floods in 8 Regions Impact Hundreds of Households – FloodList. https://floodlist.com/europe/ukraine-floods-april-2023. Accessed 9 June 2023.

Wrona, Aleksandra. "Does This Video Show the Nova Kakhovka Dam Explosion in Ukraine?" Snopes, 6 June 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nova-kakhovka-dam-video/.

"Повінь у Києві: води у Дніпрі стало менше, але пік паводку ще попереду - КМВА." Новости Украины, 18 Apr. 2023, https://ua-news.in.ua/povin-y-kiievi-vodi-y-dnipri-stalo-menshe-ale-pik-pavodky-she-poperedy-kmva/.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.

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